We have received the following memo from a keen observer of the Democratic party in California. Retweets are not an endorsement, of course, but Cockburn shares the contents in the interests of provoking a lively debate…
‘Rep. Adam Schiff, Democrat of California, chairman of the influential House Intelligence Committee, understands that impeachment proceedings would hurt Donald Trump and might even deny him reelection. There are many reasons to commence such a course and hold President Trump accountable under the law: obstruction of justice; violations of the foreign and domestic emoluments clauses of the US constitution; conspiring with foreign governments to commit crimes against the US; abusing the pardon power, among other reasons.
‘But on a practical level, Schiff vigorously opposes impeachment because the process would all but shut down his committee’s work on the Russia investigation. All of the attention would be immediately focused on Jerry Nadler, Democrat of New York, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. Being in the media spotlight and propelling his own political career is far more important to Schiff than saving the world from Donald Trump. This harsh assessment comes from a staffer on Schiff’s own intelligence committee, as well as others associated with Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi. That’s politics.
‘Like any politician, Schiff is motivated by public recognition and the media glow. He does not display his love of the limelight in public. But adulation is what energizes this former marathon runner, according to friends. It’s all part of owning an enormous ego, which includes being willing to appear on CNN at any hour of the day. Remember, Schiff ran unsuccessfully for the California State Senate on two occasions before finally winning in 1996. Most normal people would have given up seeking public office after losing twice. But not Adam. Four years later, he left Sacramento — which is, admittedly, a dump — and ran for a seat in the House of Representatives. He won and has been serving in the House for the past 18 years. In his ninth term, Schiff is now recognized on airplanes, in fact, almost any place he travels. In his home district in the San Fernando Valley and Pasadena, he is greeted with applause in restaurants, supermarkets and synagogues. This means a lot to someone who had never received an airline upgrade or preferential seating in a restaurant in the past.
‘On one level, one has to appreciate Schiff’s dilemma. He knows what is best for the country but he also does not want to step off center stage at age 59. He may never get a starring role again. Understand one thing: who in their right mind would schlep once a week between LAX and Dulles for two decades? Schiff, I am told, wants to become either Speaker of the House or a United States senator. Unfortunately, for Schiff, California’s new governor, Gavin Newsom, is not a big fan of his. And that’s important, because two Senate seats from California may become available soon. The senior California senator, Dianne Feinstein is 86 and looking to retire before her term expires in 2024. Moreover, California’s junior senator, Kamala Harris, may become either a presidential or vice-presidential nominee of the Democratic party. Governor Newsom, however, looks forward to appointing Representative Katie Porter of California as a US senator once Feinstein or Harris’s seat opens up. And that leaves poor Adam Schiff with a seat in the back of the aircraft.
‘Given this background, one can understand why Schiff has thrown a temper tantrum of sorts in front of Speaker Pelosi for even considering the prospect of advocating impeachment hearings. As one of Schiff’s committee staffers told me: “Let Nancy say Trump belongs in jail or anything else that makes her feel good, so long as she doesn’t push impeachment.”
‘Schiff’s selfishness is all the more unacceptable when one understands that Donald Trump and his friends in Israel, Russia, Saudi Arabia and the Emirates, will do anything to usher in his reelection in 2020. Trump, after all, is running for reelection to stay out of jail. Make no mistake about it. His foreign friends want him to stay in the White House to do their bidding at all cost. One foreign operative told me: “By election day 2020, every undecided voter in the US should have received at least 10 messages on their cell phone informing them that the Democratic presidential nominee is a child molester and a rapist…and a joint, covert Israeli, Russian, Saudi and Emirati operation will have assisted in this campaign without the Democrats knowing all the details before it is too late.” Couple this with an extremely professional and well-funded domestic reelection effort — Trump has raised $105 million in the past three months, compared to $350 million during his entire 2016 campaign — and one has to conclude that President Trump’s newfound strengths may outweigh his low approval ratings.
‘All the Democrats can do now is pray that the former special prosecutor, Robert Mueller, will have a divine moment when he testifies in public on July l7. Maybe he will act like he is on acid and break the law by releasing redacted portions of his own report to the American people. But that won’t happen. Robert Mueller does not jay walk. Pity the pathetic Democrats.
Cockburn recognizes that much of this assessment will be controversial, especially the idea that President Trump might benefit from foreign help in his re-election. But really, who needs foreign help when you have the Democrats?